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Elgin Hushbeck, Jr.: The Least Bad Choice

by Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., Engineer, Christian apologist, and author of Christianity and SecularismPreserving Democracy: What the Founding Fathers Knew, What We Have Forgotten, and How It Threatens Democracy  and What is Wrong with Social Justice?
Many people have complained in the past about having undesirable choices when going to the ballot box, but never has the nation faced a choice between two less desirable candidates than this year. When asked, I portray the election as between two unelectable candidates except that they are running against each other.
If you are Republican in a reliably blue state, or a Democrat in a reliably red state, you are blessedly freed from having to worry, for your vote will not affect the outcome. However those who live in swing states face a very difficult choice.
9781893729827There are only 3 options: vote for Trump, Clinton, or sit this one out. Some will argue they will vote for a 3rd party candidate or write someone’s name in. Ok, but that has the same net effect as sitting it out, and to believe otherwise is to delude yourself. It may make you feel better, but it will have no effect on the outcome except possibly as a spoiler.
For Trump, the problem is that he is a bombastic reality TV show star with a thin skin. Perhaps the best synopsis of Trump I have heard was from Hugh Hewitt, who likened him to the Roman leader Sulla whose epitaph was, “No friend ever served me, and no enemy every wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full.” Trump often seems more interested in settling scores than running for office.
He has no discernable ideology and has been on both sides of many issues, allowing him to claim he was on whatever side seems best for him at the moment. Even now his positions often changes. While there is clearly an honesty problem here, it is one common to most politicians, akin to Kerry’s statement that he was for the bill before he was against it. The bigger issue is that he seems to have little knowledge of the position he is running for. Even when warned that a question about the nuclear triad might come up in the debates, he was still caught off guard and did not know what it was. In short he is completely unsuited for the job.
This would seem to make Clinton an easy choice. Yet, up against Trump’s possible future incompetence we have Clinton’s track record of incompetence. On her watch as Secretary of State we have disaster after disaster that has left the world in a much worse state: the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; the war and its aftermath in Libya; the Russian reset and the invasion of the Crimea, and now troops massing on the new boarder threatening another war; the failure to get a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq that lead to the rise of ISIS; and the terrible mishandling of Syria, to name just a few.
The real problem is that her issues with truth go far beyond the normal political aim of trying to present oneself in the best light. She is corrupt, and corruption is much harder to address than incompetence, particularly given the modern Democratic Party, as an arm of the Clinton machine which works feverishly to protect her and her husband and has done so for some time now.
At least with Trump, I can point to the fact that there were 17 candidates who divided up the vote, a media who gave him an estimated $2 billion in free media coverage, party in-fighting that could not settle on an alternative, and open primaries that allowed non-Republicans to help pick the Republican nominee. I do not like it but I can at least see how he became the nominee.
For Democrats, Clinton’s hold over the party was such that she was basically the only choice that was allowed. The only other semi-real candidate was Sanders, but the DNC rigged the game to make sure he could not win and this was clear to me even before the leak of DNC emails.
The pattern is clear going back decades. When they are caught, the Clintons just lie. When it is shown that they are lying they simply change to new lies. When those are shown to be false, they change to yet more lies. At some point they begin to claim they have already fully answered all the questions and anyone who continues to pointing out their lies is simply playing politics, while the Clintons just want to move on and get back to the business of the American people. Yet many Democrats are either in denial or simply do not care that she is corrupt, and are immune to any evidence to the contrary.
The most recent example of this was the discovery that she had a secret email server. As usual she told lie after lie after lie in an attempt to get around the issue. When the FBI director testified before Congress that she had lied repeatedly in her testimony, which is perjury, she even lied about that and claimed the FBI director had said she had been completely truthful.
Even now, Democrats in the know are holding their breath. Not that her server was hacked by foreign powers, that is a given that has already seriously damaged the country and very likely led to at least one death, probably many more. No, they are afraid that the missing 33,000 emails will be released before the election. The handful that have already come out show, not wedding plans and yoga classes as she claimed, but a pattern of collusion between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation that have already raised serious questions about selling the foreign policy of the United States.
The fact is the Clintons not only operate outside the laws the rest of us have to follow, but they consistently put their own interest ahead of the country. Nowhere was this clearer than while the fire fight in Benghazi was still raging and the lives of Doherty and Woods hung in the balance. The Action Points of a meeting held to deal with the situation showed that instead of focusing on getting them help, Clinton was focused on fabricating a cover story to protect herself and the administration. As for Doherty and Woods, help was never sent and hours later they were killed. At the arrival of the caskets, Clinton, being Clinton, lied to the families to further the false cover story.
Based on the FBI investigation, there is now no doubt that she broke the law and endangered national security with her server. But it is also pretty clear that the fix was in, and she was never going to be prosecuted for her crime. The FBI, like the Justice Department, IRS, EPA, and many other branches of government have been corrupted into just another arm of the Democratic party, which is now little more than part of the Clinton machine, protecting and bestowing favors on friends and going after enemies.
At least if Trump causes problems there is no doubt that Republicans will quickly join Democrats to block him. After all they are having trouble supporting him even now with an election in the balance. So the choice for me is easy and I will vote for Trump. Trump can and probably will cause problems, but the country will survive, and one can at least hope he will only be a 1-term President.
The country cannot survive the corruption Clinton will bring, at least not in the democratic form of government where the people have a real say in who runs their government. She will bring to the country what she brought to the Democratic Party nomination process, a system where opposition is allowed to run, but the fix will be in and they will not be allowed to win.
I don’t like it, and I wish I had a better choice, but wishing does not make it so and this is the choice I have.
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  1. I’m an outsider to US politics, so to some extent not particularly worried whether you elect a Democrat or a Republican, as long as the likely effects of that aren’t likely to affect the UK adversely – though unfortunately, given the current interlinked state of global economies and the dominant position of the States, if you mess up your economic policy too much everyone suffers!
    I’m also a longtime member and former elected representative for the UK’s third party (the Liberal Democrats), so the first thing I want to take issue with is the statement that a vote for anyone other than a Republican or a Democrat is wasted. I used to hear this refrain on the doorstep all the time “We’d like to vote LibDem, but it’d be a wasted vote because it’d let in X” (where X was interchangeably Labour or Conservative depending on which the individual most disliked or feared). In fact, I heard that often enough to calculate that if everyone who said that ignored the fact that “we didn’t have a chance”, we’d get elected very comfortably – and for a while, I did manage to persuade enough people to “give it a go” to get myself elected at a local level. I really don’t like the politics of “I have to vote for this horrible person with horrible policies because if I don’t that other horrible person with horrible policies will get elected”, because that guarantees that any third candidate (who might well not be a horrible person and might actually have decent policies) will never stand a chance. For goodness sake, start voting positively rather than out of fear. Who knows, it might even work!
    However, again looked at from outside, if you elect Hilary Clinton she may be an apparatchik (I don’t believe the claims of the right that she’s systematically corrupt, at least not any more corrupt than the average run of American politicians) but because she’s part of the existing establishment, we don’t expect her to do anything much different from what previous administrations have been doing. Sure, foreign policy has been a train wreck during her tenure, but it was just as much of a train wreck, perhaps more, during previous administrations (notably Bush II – you couldn’t get much more train wreck than that). She just continued the longstanding US practice of monkeying with other countries systems in an attempt to get a reliable regime, which has largely either been a complete disaster or has led to propping up rather nasty dictators. We’ll know what we’re getting from the US with Clinton…
    On the other hand, Trump is a joke. If you elect him, the rest of the world will be completely convinced that you’re idiots (admittedly very dangerous idiots with a huge military capacity, but idiots nonetheless). I speak here as someone from a country which just voted for Brexit, so the rest of the world now knows that we’re idiots too – but at least we didn’t make Farage prime minister. As you remark, Trump is totally unpredictable. Yes, you might find most of what he wants to do blocked by the Senate and House, but he’s still going to be the public face of America, and he’s still going to be commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world. He’s even expressed a willingness to use nuclear weapons…
    So he’s a joke, but a sick joke, and one which we will on the one hand laugh at and on the other be terrified of.
    If that’s the image (and the foreign policy position) you want for the States, well, OK. However, permit me to remark that on the basis of our previous discussions, I didn’t think you were that much of a joker…

    1. Chris,
      Concerning third parties, the US is for all practical effect a two party system. Wishing it to be different, or theoretical possibilities that will never actually happen does not change that. I would love to be wrong on this, but wishing doesn’t make it so. Thus here, voting for a third party, particularly for President, is effectively the same not voting at all.
      As for the Foreign policy begin so bad under Bush, Here is hardly the space to discuss the pro and cons of the Bush administration, I would only point out that when George Bush left, things were much better than they are now. In fact things were going so well, that in 2010 Biden was taking credit for it claiming that Iraq would be seen as one of Obama’s greatest achievements even though up to that point they had been under the Status of Forces agreement negotiated by Bush. Unfortunately, rather than negotiate a new one, Obama wanted out, and as predicted thing in Iraq deteriorated fast.
      As for Clinton being no more corrupt than most politicians, you pretty much summed up why I am so distrustful of Dems in general. You at least have the benefit of not being in the US. Most of your news some from the major media that have been her supporters for decades, though I would point out that the British Press is often better than the US press on this.
      Like I said, it does not matter what she does, how many times she lies, or what the evidence is. People point the the fact that those pointing to the evidence are her critics and for those on the left, that is enough to ignore her crimes. Their crimes are far more than most politicians. After all, Bill Clinton is the only President in american history to have to do a plea bargain in order to leave office so that he would not be arrested.
      I would also point out that with the evidence the FBI put for, it is now established that he committed perjury several times in her testimony before congress., and a referral has been sent to the Justice department. Granted, I doubt she will be actually be prosecuted, but this just further established that she is above the law. At least for Democrats, we are returning to the notion that the President (King) can do no wrong, at least when they are a Democrat. Tremendous power, little if any accountability, and a proven willingness to lie is a very dangerous combination. Unfortunately we will probably see how this combination plays out.

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